Belfast based Dylan McCaughtry, 31, is the creative mastermind behind this year’s CNB21 presents The Ogham Grove.
The son of Gawain Morrison, Creative Lead for the Culture Night concept, Dylan’s artistic upbringing has led him to develop a successful career in Sculpture and Prop Design for Film & TV where he has worked on the productions of Game of Thrones and Derry Girls.
Environmentally conscious Dylan has sourced reused wood to create the monumental structure for The Ogham Grove which takes inspiration from the ancient Celtic Ogham Tree Alphabet.
The Ogham Grove runs from Friday September 17th 2021 to Sunday 19th September at Writer’s Square, Belfast.
How did you get started in the industry?
It was really the fault of my parents. I spent my childhood helping them out which led me to getting to meet the right type of people who took a punt on me and started bringing me in for jobs.
What genre / style do you create in?
I studied sculpture at Art College in Edinburgh and a lot of my personal work now is focused on using recycled material. I want to give life to abandoned and forgotten objects which works well with the Ogham Grove project as everything will go on to have another use afterwards.
What would you be best known for?
The Lionel Richie sculpture I did at art college. It’s on YouTube if you search up, ‘Hello, is it me you’re looking for?’. I blindfolded myself and listened to nothing apart from Lionel Richie for five hours and even now I still get messages about it from my friends sending me memes.
What would you consider your biggest achievement?
Work-wise it would be working on Derry Girls since it started. We’re starting back to work on the next series next week actually. I’m so proud to be a part of such an accomplishment from not knowing what it would be at the start to what it has become.
What would you consider to be the biggest lesson you’ve learned in your industry?
Nothing goes to plan and preparing for the unexpected is part of the bread and butter of my day job. I think outside the box because if problems arise, you just need to figure out a way of getting through them and to think on your feet.
My biggest challenge so far was I was asked to make a sled for The Northman film that was filmed here last year. I was given about 20 minutes notice and I had two days to make it with nobody to help me. I just had to get stuck in. In the end, I finished it and even had time to paint it!
Tell us a little about your personal life, are you married, kids, hobbies etc?
I have a partner, a french girl called Janine who is also helping us with the Ogham project. As for hobbies, I play a bit of guitar and I am part of a Ukulele band where we meet every week.
What would you like us to tell people about?
A friend of mine has just opened a new restaurant in Holywood called Frae. I’d highly recommend it. I was on the phone to him the other day and he had Yotan Ottolenghi, the chef in his restaurant who took an Instagram post of the restaurant.
If you had to describe your work to someone who has never heard of you what would you say?
Eclectic. It’s been a while since I’ve done something for myself as my work is usually based on what anyone needs me to do.
What would your advice be to young people hoping to pursue the same industry?
Unfortunately I think that it’s a matter of who you know. You need to meet and hassle people in the nicest possible way. You should always promote yourself and big up yourself too.
Who do you look up to and why?
Myself and my peers as I don’t really follow a lot of artists. My mum and dad are also personal heroes of mine because they’ve always stood up for me and had my back.
Read more about Dylan’s work and experience here
To find out more about this year’s CNB21 Presents The Ogham Grove, go to www.culturenightbelfast.com